Spy Tips on Compartmentalizing, Black Market Deals, and more
For a spy, compartmentalizing is second nature. Information is given on a need to know basis. In your professional life, this approach keeps you safe. In your personal life, it can be dangerous.
The site of a deal can tell you a lot about who you’re doing business with. If it’s private, they value control. If it’s public, they want to get in and out anonymously. If they’ve somehow found a site that gives them both, you’re dealing with somebody who really knows what he’s doing.
Most black market transactions tend to go the same way. First, payment is inspected. Then the goods are brought to the table. This standard sequence is meant to ensure both parties against a blown deal.
Some cover IDs are about blending in. Others are about making a splash. It all depends on whether it’s more important to fool your target or impress them.
From private homes to financial institutions to military encampments, security consulting is a multibillion-dollar industry. And while security consultants constantly out new materials and technology, the basic techniques haven’t changed in 4,000 years. Get a better view of any danger headed your way, make your walls sturdier, and arm yourself well enough to fend off attacks. Hardening a target against attacks from outside is pretty straightforward. Which is why it’s usually best to attack, if you can, from the inside.
No large security building is designed to be 100% secure. Doing business requires flexibility to deal with visitors, repairmen, contractors, etc… Getting in then, requires using that flexibility. You have to make everybody think you’re someone else’s problem. Even advanced security measures are useless when people leave their keys lying around. And surprising often, that’s what people do. People leave their key cards in purses, their passwords on desks, and their handprints on soda cans.
Past a certain point in a clearance facility, you stop seeing security cameras. Lowly security guards don’t have the clearance to see what’s on the cameras, so there’s no one to monitor them. Usually, in the top security areas of a high-tech facility it’s less about monitoring and more about fortification.
In a high security situation, most people try to create the smallest disturbance they can. The thing is, high security is built to deal with small disturbances. Trip one sensor, and you’re toast. Trip 100 sensors though, and nobody knows what to do.
Spend a career in covert ops and you learn a lot about yourself. Will you lie to learn something important? Yes. Will you betray someone to serve a higher cause? Maybe. Will you trade another man’s life for your freedom? You don’t really know the answer until you face the question.